If you think you need to fanatically count every calorie you consume and weigh your food portions as precisely as a prospector measures gold dust in order to lose fat, then I would like to propose a rational alternative to this ponderous process.
Folks, I am going against the grain of entrenched, marginally successful so called “fitness wisdom” in offering some simple, straightforward advice about successful eating and fitness habits that will undoubtedly piss off those “experts” in the fitness industry herd who thrive on self imposed complexity and way too obsessive methodologies to get fit and healthy. These are the overblown fitness instructor types or gym owners devoid of any redeeming qualities who never miss an opportunity to tell you how wonderful they are as they systematically over coach, over train, underwhelm and micromanage a trainee into frustrated submission leaving them worse off than when they began.
That’s ok, as these are usually the types of characters in the fitness industry who I usually avoid in order to stay productive, positive, proactive and maintain my sanity, anyhow. In other words, If they don’t like it – I don’t care. I’m not shy about telling you about all the horrible fitness industry types I have had the displeasure of interacting with so as to help you avoid my bad experiences so give the above link a read and laugh or weep or send me hate mail if you are one of the bums in the industry I point out.
Try Changing Your Views On Calories And Food
I believe people get way too involved in counting exact calories and weighing foods to the precise milligram which is a loser’s game that very few come close to winning. No, I am not saying the well meaning person trying to get rid of unhealthy fat is a “loser”, only that the method they employ is a losing proposition in most cases. While I am not saying this method does not have any merit, the sad reality is that most people are not wired to add this complexity to their food eating habits as is evidenced by the fact that most people don’t stick with this tedious and ponderous counting and weighing process.
The whole reason people even need to be super strict about calorie counting and weighing their foods is because they refuse to drastically cut back on crap foods high in calories, yet devoid of any nutritional value that will eternally sabotage your fat loss efforts every time. In essence, it’s the excess junk food people won’t cut out of their diet that needs to be weighed and calorie counted, not the nutritious whole foods as your body treats these two food categories differently as it applies to your health and body composition. Don’t believe me? Then go take a look in the shopping carts of any overweight person in any American supermarket and let me know what they are eating.
I will argue that calorie counting and food weighing are tiresome methods of added layers of complexity that distracts people from the real reasons and root causes of why they are unsuccessful in their fat loss and health improvement efforts. Instead of positioning themselves for success and thinking of ways they can add more quality, nutritious foods to their eating week, most people agonize over looking for ways they can add or keep more garbage foods into their weekly diet and somehow, miraculously still be successful in their fat loss goals. This is a misdirection of effort if you want to win the war on fat. The more crap foods and calories you tell yourself you can’t live without, the more people are compelled to obsess over a calorie counting and food weighing regimen to combat these poor food choices.
Most people will fail in their fat loss efforts with this losing strategy as they will direct way too much valuable energy and will power into a junk food mentality leaving no actionable energy for a successful nutritious food mentality. Keeping unreasonable amounts of garbage food in your diet is the reason people feel compelled to track their calories so painstakingly precise, so why not confront and address this burdensome reality?
If you eat nutritious, whole foods the majority of the time, there really is no need to go crazy tracking, counting and weighing your food all the time. I’m sure there are rare exceptions, but I don’t know too many people who have to stringently restrict their calories as long as they consume a reasonable variety of nutrient dense foods the majority of the time to achieve positive results. Unfortunately, you will further distance yourself from your worthy health goals the more you assign value to keeping crap foods in your diet as opposed to assigning value to adding more nutritious foods. These are some of the root behaviors as to why you may be succeeding or failing to achieve those wonderful health and fitness goals you have set.
However, if you eliminate most of the “BAD CALORIES” from your diet and eat “GOOD CALORIES” the majority of the time, you really don’t have to worry too much about over eating as eating whole, natural foods will generally fill you up and keep your appetite in check as your body makes productive use of nutritious food calories with few exceptions. For example, eat as much steak and broccoli as you want at a meal, but not to the point of exploding. You will get full pretty quick as these types of foods are not only super nutritious, but they naturally trigger your body’s “I’m Full” mechanism. This is a metabolic “win-win” scenario both for your digestive system and advancing to your ideal body composition.
Your body knows what it needs to succeed based on thousands of years of evolutionary tweaks. It is way, way smarter than you, the latest Hollywood phony’s miracle food plan or that snake oil selling hack marketer trying to sell you the latest magical pill, potion or powder – so feed it what it was designed to eat and optimally function most of the time if you want meaningful health and fitness results.
By contrast, If you steadily feed your body sugars and simple carbs like sodas, cakes, breads, chips, overly processed grains like rice, pastas, unhealthy fats and most breakfast cereals which are nothing more than densely high amounts of empty calories devoid of any nutritional value, your “I’m Full” mechanism goes off line and you crave more which piles on the bad calories and your body responds by plumping up your fat cells. Translation – your ass expands, your thighs become thunderous and your gut swells like you are wearing an inner tube under your shirt.
And I don’t care how much crazy, insane exercise you do to try to combat your horrible eating habits – most folks can’t out exercise a bad diet to get to their goals. Remember, exercise is wonderful and necessary in reaching your desired fitness , but it is your food choices that are the main driving force in reaching your ideal body composition. Ignore this at the expense of your sanity and achieving your healthy goals.
There are very few people on this planet who have the time, energy and “Rain Man” like crazy, obsessive discipline to consistently count and weigh calories and walk around with perfectly measured food portions in Tupperware containers all day. I take my hat off to you if you are able to consistently pull this off, but most folks can’t sustainably pull that behavior off – myself included! I just wouldn’t entertain a strategy like this.
Believe me, if most people focused on just eating whole, nutritious foods the majority of the time, they would get spectacular results without driving themselves crazy, frustrated and miserable. You will make others run from you in this state also. Ever been around people who needlessly and obsessively restrict their foods? They are true pillars of misery and can clear a room quicker than if you tossed a spraying skunk in it!
There is still plenty of confusion as to what are good and bad foods to eat if you really desire to transform your body and get healthy. I give you plenty of examples of what are good and bad foods in my article What Foods I Keep In My Kitchen so give it a read, steal some ideas you can apply to your situation and position yourself for success!
What Fitness Activities Should You Focus On?
Much like your food eating habits, don’t obsess over your fitness program and over complicate things. Just participate in a program that is sustainable, sane, rewards you with maximum fitness dividends for your precious time invested and hopefully makes you resistant to injury. Most folks do just fine getting in some full body resistance training 2-3 times per week with plenty of daily walking/hiking and meaningful joint mobility drills peppered in. Don’t let anybody tell you fitness needs to be as complicated as splitting the atom to get fantastic results!
Check out my essential movements for a lean, tight body article to give you some ideas on what you really need to be including in your fitness program for meaningful results and success.
Here’s the takeaway – focus most of your precious time and energy on eating quality, nutritious foods combined with a sane, responsible and consistent exercise program and you will experience fantastic results without physically and mentally crushing your body or spirit.
A Few Closing Points
Unless you understand and put these concepts and habits to practice, you will most likely join the herds of well intentioned folks who continue to stressfully swing from fad diet to fad diet wasting their precious time on this planet getting frustrating up and down yo yo fat loss and fitness results at best.
Strive for progress, not perfection. Just stay focused on eating nutritious foods the majority of the time and zero in on consistently getting better as you progress to your goal and don’t chase crazy, unsustainable and unobtainable perfection on this worthy journey. As long as you are making progress and have forward momentum week to week, you can’t help but be rewarded with success!
Push the “diet” mentality out of your mind and don’t get sucked into the glitzy media diet of the week or whatever unrealistic, fantasy land headline that stares at you in the magazine rack while you are in the supermarket line. You know, like the Hollywood cupcake diet guaranteed to get you the body of your dreams in 3 days endorsed by suspect medical professionals like Dr. Gesundheit and Professor Backwards. Just eat the nutritious foods Mother Nature designed for your body to thrive on this planet and tune out the hype and nonsense.
A funny thing happens when you decide to eat the quality, whole foods Mother Nature intended for us as a species to eat and ditch eating a lot of the synthesized crap created by man. Your physical and mental well-being will skyrocket and you develop a vibrant, capable body that fits into your clothes easily and with visual appeal while improving that love/hate relationship you have with your mirror.
Whenever you layer ever more tedious and unsustainable steps between you and your worthy goals instead of taking the direct path, we tend to get distracted and agitated as our precious time and mental energy gets chewed up. This is time that could be devoted to pursuits like family, relationships, career, leisure activities or whatever advances your happiness and quality of life.
I won’t bullshit you or insult your intelligence. Is this an easy mindset change for most people to adopt? Nope. But ANY successful, meaningful and positive change rarely is in this life. That’s just how the universe operates, so we can either accept it and progress or deny it and flounder. Those who think and act like adults, achieve success and live in reality understand this concept and either put it to practice or seek the necessary help, support and guidance to adopt these mindsets.
So stop diving in to quick fix, too good to be true health and fitness programs and focus your energies on those activities that are proven to reward you with solid and realistic results to get you to your goals without driving you insane! I’m throwing gold in your laps, folks. Either toss it aside and ignore the value or embrace it and change your life for the better.
Stay Well! Take Action! Be Consistent! Train and Eat Smart! Get Rid of the Drains and Pains in Your Life! Value your loved ones and friends and get out and have some active, safe fun!
I Eat T-Bone Steaks, Lift Kettlebell Weights And Keep Calories In Perspective!
“There’s A Sparkle In My Eyes And Iron In My Thighs!”
Seven Stars Fitness